memory. language, art. wittgenstein. books. ceramics.

all sorts of thinkings on memory, language, art, wittgenstein, books, etc, while I am getting on with my MA

Thursday 22 July 2010

Kupferstichkabinett at White Cube

Kupferstichkabinett: Between Thought and Action 8 Jul—28 Aug 2010

White Cube Hoxton Square is pleased to present Kupferstichkabinett: Between Thought and Action. Looking at the pivotal role of drawing in current practice, the exhibition features over 200 works on paper by some of the most significant artists working today.

The German term 'Kupferstichkabinett' describes the special collection of prints and drawings within a museum, 'kabinett' originally deriving from the small space within a castle where personal collections were kept by the wealthy and aristocratic. These regal compilations of art on paper were generally encyclopaedic in scope and served as the precursors to public museum collections.

As a medium, drawing covers a range of attitudes in art, from the immediate, intimate and subjective to investigative, analytical and narrative. Joseph Beuys described it as 'a thinking medium', both as a catalyst for processing thought, and as work in its own right. This selection of drawings and prints traces a range of subjects, including: 'Ideas Generation', where artists use the immediacy of drawing as a means to prepare and refine a concept; 'Systems, Architectonics and Abstraction', in which predetermined rules, structures and methods govern the form of the image; 'Expressions of Anatomy', where intimate portrayals of the figure assume a central position; 'Graphic Narratives / Surreal Legacies', featuring imagery from the fantastically bizarre to the comically illustrative; and 'Historia', which examines how drawing has been used to question the role of photography in the mediation and construction of historical memory.

Kupferstichkabinett: Between Thought and Action features work by 55 artists, including Bruce Nauman, Lucian Freud, Antony Gormley, Raqib Shaw, Gabriel Orozco, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Gary Hume, Luc Tuymans, Georg Baselitz, Miroslaw Balka, Tracey Emin, Mona Hatoum, Damien Hirst, Anselm Kiefer, Julie Mehretu and Rachel Whiteread, amongst others. A fully illustrated catalogue, with a text by the exhibition's curator Susan May, Creative Director, White Cube, will accompany the exhibition.

Walls covered with fine examples of profound scribling. I did enjoy it so much. There is a certain immediacy in drawing; there is energy pouring out. You cannot achieve that with printing: the process of printing involves a mechanical barrier between the viewer and the hand of an artist . Looking through the glass.

Center: Anthony Gormley, Breathing Room, 2007

Fred Tomaselli, Portrait of Marjorie, 1995

Center: Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (Steps), 1994
This one is shown the other way round in the catalogue. Is that intentional?

Then... my battery went flat again: all I have is those pathetic mobile snaps of the remaining favorite bits.

Anselm Kiefer, Unfruchtbare Landschaften, 2010

Tobias Putrih, QR/x3, 2007
The intimacy of this one is fantastic! The viewer cannot see the work from the distance, because it is so light. But as one comes close, and gets to see the lines, they loose the overall picture. The viewer is left with the fragment.

Darren Almond, Impression, 2010, Thumb press relief on silk-screened paper
Berlinde De Bryyckere, 2002

I have even invested £25 into the exquisitely produced catalogue! It's a shame, not all the drawings are included into it and not all of the artists are represented there.